UK PM Boris Johnson reveals lockdown exit plan amid confusion

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson set out a cautious plan on Monday (May 11) for how the UK's lockdown measures would slowly be lifted.

The government published a 51-page document outlining the strategy that includes a staged reopening of businesses, and advice on public transport and wearing face coverings - as well as a 14-day quarantine for most international arrivals.

Speaking in parliament, Johnson said the government would not be hasty in removing restrictions.

"Our challenge now is to find a way forward that preserves our hard won gains while easing the burden of the lockdown, and I will be candid with the House, this is a supremely difficult balance to strike. There could be no greater mistake than to jeopardise everything that we have striven to achieve by proceeding too far and too fast."

The United Kingdom has one of the world's highest official COVID-19 death tolls.

And, after criticism that he was slow to order a lockdown, Johnson is concerned by the prospect of a second wave of infection.

But he has also been accused of putting out confusing advice on the new strategy.

Opposition Labour Party leader Keir Starmer said Monday the government had given mixed messages that did not address the public's basic practical questions about going back to work.

"What the country needs at this time is clarity and reassurance and at the moment both are in pretty short supply, and at the heart of the problem it seems is that the prime minister made his statement last night before the plan was written or at least finalised and that has caused considerable confusion."

The government have also introduced a new slogan - "Stay Alert".

Which opposition parties have branded as meaningless against a virus invisible to the naked eye.

Leaders of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have said they were sticking with the original "stay-at-home" message.